90s Nostalgia at The Tape Escape at Queen Video in Toronto

I haven’t rented a movie in…god actually I don’t think I personally have ever rented one off my own back. My mum would take my sister and I to Blockbuster when we were sick or having a sleepover, but by the time I was old enough to rent something R or X-Rated, the Internet provided my entertainment fix. None the less, Queen Video has been a Toronto landmark long after the city had any real need for a video rental store. People just loved the nostalgia of getting lost in movie titles before making a visual choice on an evening’s entertainment by looking at an enticing cover. The nostalgia couldn’t save Queen Video forever but luckily, for those longing for the days of video rental gone by, the store is home to the ultimate 90’s video rental experience in the form of a rental store theme escape room!

the tape escape queen video toronto
The Tape Escape – Credit: Outside the March

The Tape Escape has three tracks depending on your genre choices; Sci-Fi, Romance or Family. I found myself “renting” the Family track in the form of A Grown-Ups Guide to Flying, a heartfelt tale in the format of a brother’s birthday game to his younger sibling.

Peter Pan is a central theme and all the magic and fairy-dust that comes along with that. Scouring video titles for clues, opening up boxes, playing tapes, pulling on strings, listening to music notes and using our shrewd observations. For those that get a little stuck there are actors on hand in the form or store assistants who can gently nudge you in the right direction.

the tape escape queen video toronto
Raylene Turner in Outside the March’s The Tape Escape_photo credit Neil Silcox

I found myself delighted and surprised to find myself in new spaces, all of which were thoroughly interactive. My sense of play and imagination was reawakened in the intricately woven story and beautifully realized space; I truly felt I was solving a mystery in an actual video rental shop.

I don’t want to give anything away as I wouldn’t want to rob you, dear reader, of the sense of excitement that comes from solving a clue or feeling an unexpected bubble pop on your face while your eyes are closed. All I can say is that you are in safe hands while you’re amid the Tape Escape and I can’t imagine how the curious among us wouldn’t have an excellent time.

the tape escape queen video toronto
(Clockwise from bottom left) Zoe Danahy, Tony Cushman, Nicholas Porteous, Raylene Turner, Rais Clarke-Mendes, Francis Melling, Danté Prince, and Kavone Manning in The Tape Ecsape_photo credit Neil Silcox

Having delighted my desire for wholesome family fun, I would love to see what the store has in the Sci-Fi genre. I am, after-all, a Trekkie at heart!

Adorable Geek-Chiq amid a retro setting, If this sounds like your jam, head to The Tape Escape website to rent your next adventure!


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About Rebecca Felgate 121 Articles
Writer for Toronto Guardian